Cessnock’s Mary Buchanan turns 100

CELEBRATION: Mary Buchanan with some flowers she received for her 100th birthday.
CELEBRATION: Mary Buchanan with some flowers she received for her 100th birthday.

She’s 100-years-old, lives on her own, only gave up driving at 97 and still enjoys a gin and tonic.

Cessnock’s Mary Buchanan notched up a century on Sunday, but to look at her you wouldn’t believe it.

“She doesn’t seem like she’s 100,” her kids Sandy and Margaret said of their mother, who doesn’t use a walking stick or frame.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Mrs Buchanan moved to Australia in 1949 with her husband Alex, whose brother and sister lived here at the time.

They bought a house in Canley Vale, Sydney and came up to Cessnock on a holiday, where Alex was offered a job at Neath open cut mine.

They lived near hospital hill for a few years before moving to the end of the main street in 1955, where Mrs Buchanan still lives today.

The pair were married 73 years before Alex died in 1999.

Mrs Buchanan said she smoked when she was younger and doesn’t mind the odd drink now, but has no idea what to put her health and longevity down to.

“I’m just lucky,” she said.

Mary Buchanan at her 100th birthday party on Sunday.

Mary Buchanan at her 100th birthday party on Sunday.

“I don’t take medication, only Panadol Osteo for my sore back.”

Mrs Buchanan may have inherited the longevity from her mother, who made the age of 99 before she passed away.

Mrs Buchanan said turning 100 felt like “the end of an era and the start of an era”.

But after 100 birthdays, the grandmother of five, great-grandmother of 13 and great-great-grandmother of one said she wasn’t too fussed on presents.

“The thing is, what can you give me? I only just finished eating chocolate I got last year.”

To keep active, Mrs Buchanan used to play indoor bowls at the Cessnock Ex-Services Club until it closed down, but now plays bingo in Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.

“I used to say when I couldn’t do anything else I’d play bingo,” she said.

Mrs Buchanan celebrated her birthday on Sunday with more than 60 friends and family at a lunch at Cessnock Leagues Club, where she was surprised with letters from the Queen and other dignitaries.